TLC decides against pursuing octuplet mother reality series
By Christopher Rocchio, 02/18/2009
TLC has decided against pursuing a reality series starring Nadya Suleman, the controversial California mother who gave birth to octuplets last month despite already having six previous children.
"TLC is not pursuing any program at this time with Nadya Suleman," network president Eileen O'Neill announced in a Tuesday night statement. "We wish the family well."
Last week, O'Neill had confirmed that several production companies affiliated with TLC had contacted Suleman about the possibility of developing a reality series.
"We're certainly watching [Suleman's] story unfold," O'Neill told Entertainment Weekly at the time. "There are a lot of decisions that go into greenlighting a family for any of our shows. What kind of characters are they? How would they come across on TV?"
O'Neill also acknowledged TLC viewers are "pretty vocal" and added there would be a "waiting period" to see if a reality series starring Suleman and her kids made "good sense" for the network.
She didn't have to wait too long to receive a response, as TLC's website has been inundated with posts from viewers upset that the network was considering developing a series starring Suleman and her children -- all of whom were conceived via in vitro treatments.
In addition, reality producer Mike Fleiss called Suleman's story "too radioactive" for even him to touch; while The Hills villain Spencer Pratt said the idea was "more of a horror film than a reality show."